SB 551 Benefits for Part-time Faculty

 

Summary

Part-time Faculty Benefits

In June of 2021 the State of Oregon passed SB 551. This bill established a mechanism for part-time faculty who are working an aggregate of 0.5 FTE or greater across multiple Oregon higher education institutions to obtain health care through their higher education employer. This bill requires that the premium costs be funded at 90% by the ‘home institution’ (the institution chosen to provide the benefits by the faculty member); with the employee paying a 10% premium cost share. This is for employee-only coverage and is limited to medical and prescription coverage. 

This initial benefit enrollment period will begin in October 2021 with plan coverage starting on November 1, 2021, if all conditions are met. The bill allows the employee to pursue enrollment if they provide their home institution evidence of eligibility within a specific time frame. Employees who believe they are eligible for coverage under SB 551 may select any one of the Oregon Public Universities and Community Colleges that they are currently working at as their home institution and enroll in medical and prescription coverage offered at that institution.

A copy of the SB 551 is available online here.

 

This webpage summarizes the provisions of Senate Bill 551 which provides Healthcare benefits for qualifying adjuncts (part-time faculty) at Oregon Public Universities and Community Colleges. You will find the following information useful in determining eligibility.

Summary

Eligibility Review Periods 

Enrollment Information

Cost

Determining eligibility

Additional information

Eligible SB 551 Institutions

 

Eligibility Review Periods

Two Review periods

Fall Term November 1 effective date

  • Must be actively working and receiving a paycheck for the home institution for the current term
  • Half of full-time or greater in at least 3 of the previous 4 terms. (Universities will base on full time hours of 173.33. Part time equivalency will be 86.67 hours)
    • Previous 4 terms = Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Summer 2021

Spring Term May 1 effective date

  • Must be working for the home institution
  • Half of full-time in at least 3 of the previous 4 terms. (Universities will base on full time hours of 173.33. Part time equivalency will be 86.67 hours)
    • Previous 4 terms = Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022

*Subsequent terms – eligibility in subsequent terms will be based on above information and may be subject to changes pending legislative clarification in February (February 2022)

Enrollment Information

  • The initial SB 551 enrollment month at the Universities will be October 1-31, 2021.  
  • All enrollment time periods following November 1st, 2021 will correspond with the start date of each academic term when an employee is considered newly eligible.  Eligible employees will have 30 days after hire to complete enrollment with the healthcare program. 
  • If employees are hired mid-term an exception may be made to enroll outside of this time period within 30 days. 
  • It is the responsibility of the employee to research and compare plan options at the different institutions they could designate as their home institution.  
  • Enrollment timelines may be updated related to future legislative changes.
  • Eligible faculty are allowed to enroll in employee-only medical coverage only, which includes creditable prescription coverage
  • To be eligible for this program, you may not be currently covered by or eligible for a PEBB or OEBB medical plan as an employee or dependent

Cost

  • Faculty member monthly premium share 10%. 
  • collected via payroll deduction from monthly paycheck
  • Home Institution monthly premium share 90%

Determining Eligibility

If you currently work at Portland State University and wish to establish PSU as your home institution you must complete the following process:

  1. Gather the documents that demonstrate proof of eligibility from the institutions you have worked at the last three of the past four terms. Documentation must state FTE or hours worked per month for each term.
  2. Complete the Part Time Faculty Attestation of Eligibility for Benefits Coverage.
  3. The Benefits team will respond to let you know if you are eligible after reviewing the submitted documentation.
  4. If you are eligible, you will receive a link to the PEBB enrollment portal.  Eligible faculty are allowed to enroll in employee-only medical coverage only, which includes creditable prescription coverage.
  5. Complete the enrollment process within 30 days of eligibility.  Your benefits will begin the first of the month following enrollment if you complete the process within the required timelines.
  6. A payroll deduction will be set up for this benefit.  Premiums are paid a month in advance. Your 10% premium cost share will be deducted from your monthly pay.
    • You may have double premiums taken in the subsequent month if the initial premium isn’t set up in the current payroll cycle. 
    • If your monthly paycheck is insufficient to cover the cost of premiums you will be required to submit the missing amount prior to the end of the current payroll month in which the amount was missing to avoid benefit termination.
    • If you are concerned that your check will not be sufficient at PSU to cover the cost of premiums you may want to consider designating another institution in which you receive the most pay as your home institution so that premiums are appropriately deducted.

Additional information

  • PSU will complete a Semi-Annual Review:  Eligible faculty members who elect coverage will be eligible for coverage for the following 6-months or until the next semi-annual enrollment period (whichever comes first) if they remain actively employed and are receiving a paycheck at PSU:
    • October eligibility assessment allows coverage from November through April.
    • April eligibility assessment allows coverage from May through October.
  • Employment Termination: If your position ends at PSU, your insurance will cease at the end of the month.  If you continue to work part-time at other institutions of higher education in Oregon (Public Community College or University) and are eligible for this coverage, you can name a new home institution where you are actively receiving pay. You can work with that institution to continue your healthcare coverage.
  • Double coverage: Members are not eligible to enroll in SB 551 PEBB coverage if they are already enrolled in another PEBB or OEBB plan, either as a subscriber or as a dependent.
  • Opt out payments: Members eligible for SB 551 coverage are not eligible to receive any opt out stipends.
  • Open Enrollment: You are able to make changes to your initial enrollments during Open Enrollment, October 1-31 each year for changes to be effective January 1st of the following year. The Open Enrollment process is in addition to your enrollment for SB 551 Healthcare.  

Eligible SB 551 Institutions The institutions listed may be named as your ‘home institution’ for purposes of receiving healthcare benefits under SB 551. 

Resources:

If you work at a University and Community College your choice in “home institution” will determine which medical benefits are available to you and at what cost.

Oregon University plan benefits (PEBB)

Community College plan benefits (OEBB)

Questions? Contact benefits@pdx.edu